County program preserves farmland in Mantua Township bringing countywide total up to 21,150 acres
Damminger said, "We continue to move ahead and be proactive about saving farmland and open space in our county. We have had a very busy several months, and we are well over the 21,000 mark of acres preserved in Gloucester County."
Director Damminger said that the 19-acre McDermott Farm in Mantua has now been added to the inventory of permanently preserved farmland in Gloucester County. The land has an active woodland management plan, and horses are raised, trained and boarded on the property.
“This property is contiguous to more than 140 acres of previously preserved farmland and is in close proximity to more than 400-acres of preserved open space,” stated Damminger.“
In addition to this property, Gloucester County has preserved another 104 acres of land throughout the county since the beginning of 2017 and expects to settle on another 100 acres in the next several weeks.
Freeholder DiMarco said, “This is the second farm that the county has preserved in Mantua since the start of the year and the county is scheduling settlements for 100 more acres of preserved land throughout the county this summer.”
DiMarco is the Liaison to the Department of Parks and Land Preservation. DiMarco said that more than one-quarter of the County is actively utilized for farmland operations. “The farming industry of Gloucester County is an invaluable part of New Jersey's agricultural economy,” stated DiMarco.
Freeholder Heather Simmons said, “Farms like this help boost the county’s eco-tourism industry. There is so much to do here, from wineries, arts, dining, equestrian, retail, history and our farms that you could plan an entire months worth of activities and still not see everything. We have worked hard in Gloucester County to help promote tourism and we will continue to do so because it creates a positive economic impact for our residents.”
Simmons, Liaison to the Department of Economic Development, said that a state study showed that tourism direct sales in Gloucester County grew by five percent in 2016, the third largest growth in New Jersey last year. The five percent increase in tourism direct sales equates to $456 million compared to $434 million in 2015.
The Gloucester County Office of Land Preservation has added the following to its inventory to date in 2017:
Mantua Township; 23 acres –February, 2017
Harrison Township; 17 acres –March, 2017
Woolwich Township; 32 acres (open space) –April 2017, in cooperation with Woolwich Township and the New Jersey Green Acres Program.
East Greenwich Township; 32 acres –April, 2017
Mantua Township; 19 acres – May, 2017
Anticipated 100 acres expected for settlement in June 2017:
Logan Township; 43 acres – Approved by the Freeholders in May
Woolwich Township; 36 acres (being preserved in cooperation with Woolwich Township and the SADC) approval by Freeholders
Franklin Township; 21 acres (open space)
As of May 31, 2017 the total permanently preserved Farmland Acres are 17,757, and the total preserved Open Space acres are 3,395 for a total of 21,152 acres of preserved farmland and open space.